A bad habit of Devoncia’s that had persisted since childhood. Taking what belonged to others… a terrible habit of coveting, especially those of his siblings’ possessions. It probably wasn’t because of that. However, it didn’t seem entirely unrelated either. So, while it was just a speculation, his oddly sharp intuition pointed toward her.
“Come to think of it, Skylar brought a woman with him.”
When he mentioned Ariel, this time, it was Lexius’s expression that changed. His slightly squinted irises were the same golden hue as Racine’s.
“I don’t know who it was, but she seemed to be Skylar’s person.”
“A real woman?”
The corner of Lexius’s raised slowly as Racine silently nodded
“What does she look like?”
“Her hair is black. Her eyes are black, and her skin is pale as if she hasn’t seen the sun. Her height is average, slender in build, and her expression is rather neutral…”
When Lexius urged him impatiently, who was stretching the end of his sentence, Racine hesitated for a moment, which was uncharacteristic, before he finally completed the sentence.
“She looks pretty.”
Lexius was clearly taken aback by the remark.
“Pretty? You know someone is pretty?”
“I just felt that way.”
“For you to say that…”
Lexius laughed, his mouth tearing into a long line, showing a keen interest.
“Where did you see her recently? Is she here?”
“I passed her in the corridor earlier.”
Upon hearing the mention of the corridor, Lexius swiftly rose from where he had been lying. Even though it seemed as if he wouldn’t get up even if the sofa were overturned, he sprang to his feet and went to the door.
Racine moved his eyes to follow his movements.
“Where are you going?”
“You said she was in the corridor just now. I have to see her.”
Lexius’s golden eyes, which had been filled with boredom just a moment ago, were flashing. He opened the door and went out, brimming with interest.
As soon as Ariel stepped out of the main entrance of the central building, she immediately saw a prepared vehicle. Once again, it was a royal-classic car with the imperial golden eagle insignia. It was another indication that the palace was treating her as an honored guest.
Lifting the curtain and glancing outside, she could see trees passing by at regular intervals as the car sped along. It was still inside the palace grounds. She still had a long way to go to reach the Count’s residence.
‘It’s going to take at least two hours, right?’
As she let go of the curtain and leaned back in her seat, the plush comfort and the gentle vibrations were lulling her to sleep.
The interior was as comfortable as a cradle. Perhaps it was because it was an imperial car, the ride was exceptionally smooth, and the driver was excellent.
‘Who arranged this? Skylar? Did the Crown Prince arrange it as part of his invitation? Or was it just from the imperial palace?’
Her head gradually grew heavier as she tried to figure out exactly who to thank. As she began to feel sleepy, Ariel gave in and closed her eyes without much resistance. Despite the fact that she had hoped to arrive at the Count’s residence after taking a short nap, that hope was shattered not long after.
The car abruptly jolted with a loud noise.
Ariel’s closed eyes fluttered open as she heard a loud noise and shock as if there had been an accident.
At the same time, a strong sense of déjà vu coursed through her body. It reminded her of the day she first set off for the palace with Skylar, when the car had come to a sudden stop with a loud noise.
‘No way, could it be that person from back then… again?’
After confirming that the car had stopped, Ariel leaned forward. She slid open a small window leading to the front seat, and she could see the driver’s shoulder through it.
Beyond his shoulder, through the windshield of the car, she could see someone crouching on the bonnet. Like a well-trained knight, the burly man reached out and knocked on the front windshield with his fist. It seemed like he was saying, ‘Open the door.’
Because of the man’s head-down posture, his face was hard to see. Instead, her attention was drawn to the intense color.
It wasn’t someone she recognized.
‘…Who is it?’
The first impression was that he was the most unusual person she had ever encountered. Even if he didn’t look like a thief, abruptly halting a speeding car as if he were about to wreck it…
His actions didn’t seem to be intended to get a ride like Racine, whom she met the other day.
Her cell phone rang.